Virtual Teaching and Learning

#oltak Week 8 takeaway

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This week was a little bit of a recap for me with the discussion of how adults learn…however, I had never understood that the online learning community suffered much of the same challenges and that I was not just adults but all ages. Each week I feel more enlightened by what we are reading and I’m impressed how timely they relate to what, as a group, we are facing in our course design. I’ve got to say I was a little disappointed that UAS spring break is a week later than UAA’s…I’m ready to give my brain a break!
Understanding how human beings tick is invaluable. Our group work has proven to be challenging in many ways but mostly, I’ve been learning more about my own learning style. I’ve had to change how I study, pick up the pace, and give consideration to the fact that I don’t actually know it all! Kind of a tough pill to swallow…all of this though, is helping me understand and begin to formulate a plan of the things we should be considering when designing support materials for our modules.
So many variables present themselves in an online learning environment that it will be impossible to create a bullet-proof teaching plan…but! I think from everything I’ve read this week, open, transparent, and frequent communication is the key to success in supporting students and teachers and whomever else is on board.
I think if I would have got my post up sooner (I thought I had, however…it was still in the drafts folder today, dammit!) I had a lot of insight to share with my cohorts…hopefully, they will read my post anyway. We had a very successful Google hangout and I have been diligently plugging away at our Blackboard shell and the research module. Meh! I’m grateful how this experience has brought me full circle with distance education…I talked about it in our group meeting that teaching in a classroom, taking online courses, and then being a part of a development team of a distance education course has really opened my eyes even further to the needs of students. I am so unfamiliar with high school but honestly, college students are not that far removed, they all seem to possess similar characteristics…online learners have their own special set of needs and the challenge of how to meet them through technology is daunting. It’s an interesting puzzle to put together and it feels like we just found the corners, whew! But now the task of completing the center is at hand and we’ve only just sorted out the colors.


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